Michigan State 23, Purdue 13
What Happened: Michigan State bombed away on the Boilermakers, getting a huge day from QB Rocky Lombardi including two touchdown passes – sealing the win in the final minutes with a 48-yard scoring play to Jalen Nailor – and helped by three Matt Coghlin field goals.
Purdue was shut down for most of the game, coming up with just two Spencer Evans field goals in the first half, but pulled within three in the third quarter on a one-yard Terry Wright scoring run late in the third. The MSU D took care of the rest with three picks of David Blough.
What Mattered: Lombardi stepped in for Brian Lewerke and bombed away, completing 26-of-46 passes for 318 yards and two scores with now picks. He also ran for 11 times for 26 yards. The MSU coaching staff turned him loose, and he came through large.
– Purdue QB David Blough completed 29-of-49 passes for 277 yards and three picks. The running games both sputtered – Purdue was held to 62 yards, and MSU ran for 108, with LJ Scott running 15 times for 48 yards.
– Michigan State showed exactly what you do against Purdue’s offense – you keep it off the field. The Spartans had the ball for over 38 minutes and hit 6-of-16 third down chances.
Thoughts: That’s Michigan State being Michigan State. Just when you think it’s on the verge of going into the tank, it goes right back to doing what it does so well. It controlled the game, didn’t screw up, and brought Purdue down to its slow-and-go level.
– After the Ohio State win, Purdue now isn’t just deflated, it’s in a little trouble. It has to win two of its last four games against Iowa, at Minnesota, Wisconsin and at Indiana. Going bowling isn’t a given.
– The Spartans keep on fighting. With a trip to Maryland up next, followed up by Ohio State and a trip to Nebraska, there’s still work to do to get bowl eligible. Fortunately, the Rutgers game is there to finish things up.